Hometown Hero Felipe Sanchez

Written by Credit Union of Texas
Published April 24, 2019
Family budgeting together outside Family budgeting together

In healthy cultures of the past, older people were integrated into the family, appreciated for their wisdom and perspective, and treated with respect. In many ways in recent decades, older people have become marginalized by society and victimized by people looking to defraud them. In fact, it’s not just older people. People in all facets of society say that we’ve lost a sense of interconnection. But then along comes someone like Felipe Sanchez.

Growing up with several older role models in his life, Sanchez has a lot of respect for his elders. Many of his neighbors are elderly and have lived in the same community for most of their lives. Without hesitation, Sanchez—who owns DW Fence Company—automatically gives these neighbors a discount and lends extra assistance when and where he can. This is good business as well as good citizenship, since nearly all of his business comes from referrals.

But possibly the best example of Sanchez’s kindness and generous spirit happened after he met his neighbors and close friends, Penny and Kenneth Stone. Sanchez bought property for his business next door to the Stones. It turned out the property was once part of Penny Stone’s family home. Her childhood memories of the place are cherished--riding horses around the manicured lawn and playing with friends under the trees. So when Sanchez bought the land and began clearing downed trees and tidying up the lawn, making it spick and span, just as it had been in Mrs. Stone’s childhood, it warmed her heart. The Stones and Sanchez’s family began to spend time together—Sanchez’s children playing with the Stones grandchildren—and to share barbecues and other family gatherings.

One day the Stones realized their bank card was missing. On further investigation, they found all their funds had been stolen. They live on a fixed income. Mr. Stone works at the local flea market where he recycles metals and refurbishes furniture. With bills coming due, Mrs. Stone went to her local CUTX store and got a loan that would let her pay their living expenses.

That same day, Sanchez stopped by after work to visit with them. When Mrs. Stone shared the incident with him, he immediately offered to go to the CUTX store and pay off the loan so the couple would not have to make monthly loan payments. He gave her funds to cover their immediate bills and any other needs, adding that they could repay him when it was convenient– no rush whatsoever. The gesture and relief brought her to tears.

Sanchez never expected his private act of friendship to win him any public recognition. But in a way, it does everyone good for such stories to be told. In an era where people often speak of feeling disconnected and isolated, such bountiful acts of neighborly generosity seem a throwback to another time--a bygone era of horseback riding, family picnics on manicured lawns, and neighbors looking out for each other. Maybe it’s not a thing of the past.